Energy Storage System Safety: Vanadium Redox Flow vs Lithium-Ion

By VRB vs. Li-ion Safety White Paper Ver. 2.0 Pub Date: Aug 11, 2017 for Energy Response Solutions, Inc.

The nascent field of large format stationary energy storage systems (ESS) is expected to experience significant growth in all sectors of the US power grid, from residential to utility installations. The specific technology and chemistry selected for a particular project takes into account many factors with safety taking a higher priority for many of these design decisions. The knowledge base of some ESS chemistries is also at an early stage in its development of installation codes, standards, and regulations (CSR).

The potential risks in early adoption of new technologies includes:

(1) An immature regulatory landscape that may impose more stringent requirements
than necessary out of an abundance of caution.
(2) Imposing less stringent requirements than prudent, based on misconceptions of
the inherent dangers of the underlying technologies.
(3) Withholding any approvals until specific requirements and sufficient
documentation on safety exist.

This paper will compare, at a high level, the safety considerations for lithium-ion batteries and vanadium redox flow batteries and how the systems function and
behave; it will also review the relevant standards for these technologies.




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